Week 11: Days 70 to 76

Day 70: Monday, June 7th 2021

Practice Time – 10 mins

Last week was really good, so I’m just aiming for more of the same this week. My focus remains the same: Enjoy the experience!

My plan is to continue onwards practicing the same open chords through a variety of different songs. I think this approach is really beneficial for me because it gives the same old chords a new lease of life every time I play a new song. 

I strummed a few of the regular tunes today for around ten minutes. Not a very long time, but another quick enjoyable session in the bag. 

Day 71: Tuesday, June 8th 2021

Practice Time – 30 mins (15 mins morning/ 15 mins evening)

I played/practiced twice today and felt really happy to pick the guitar up on both occasions. I ran through the regular songs and added Three Little Birds by Bob Marley to the mix (a good one for practicing the A and E chords). 

Day 72: Wednesday, June 9th 2021

Practice Time: 15 mins

More of the same today. Although I did force myself to practice for the last 5 minutes to get the session up to 15 minutes – it didn’t feel good. I won’t be doing this again.

Day 73: Thursday, June 10th 2021

Practice Time – 15 mins

Again, I ran through the regular songs to continue improving my open chords through a process of enjoyment. 

I also started playing about with my strumming hand, in particular strumming up with the first finger rather than the thumb. I also had a little go at fingerpicking which was fun, although difficult. 

Again, it was fun to pick the guitar up and play, and all of my chords are starting to feel a little better. They’re all still far from perfect, and I’m still finding the F particularly tricky, but I sense the improvement which is a nice feeling. When progress happens this way, it feels really nice. 

Compare this to a few weeks ago when I was really hunting progress – the small amounts of progress that I did feel never felt satisfying enough.  

Day 74: Friday, June 11th 2021

Practice Time – 15 mins

I continued onwards today with the same songs, primarily focussing on the C and the F.

Day 75: Saturday, 12th June 2021

Practice Time – 15 mins

Exact same drill as yesterday. Nothing new to report.

Day 76: Sunday, June 13th 2021

Practice Time – 20 mins

Exact same drill as the previous two days, albeit for a further 5 minutes. And today I realise that I’ve gone another full week of practice. Pretty cool!

The key for me is definitely how you feel whilst you practice!

Weekly Round-Up

Total Days Practiced: 7 (14 in a row)

Monday – 10 mins

Tuesday – 30 mins

Wednesday – 15 mins

Thursday – 15 mins

Friday – 15 mins

Saturday – 15 mins

Sunday – 20 mins

Total Weekly Minutes Practiced:

2 hours

End of Week Thoughts: 

14 Days On The Bounce! 

I’ve now played/practiced for 14 days on the bounce. It’s a good feeling. 🙂

Practicing or Playing?

Practising hasn’t felt like practice recently. It felt more like playing. It’s weird. It feels a bit like playing a computer game, or a game of tennis. You’re playing, but you’re also practicing and improving at the same time. It’s a strange, but really good feeling.

Short Attention Span / Variety Through Songs

I’m one to get bored really quickly – my mind likes to jump around from one thing to the next. I’m also not the most disciplined person when it comes to doing things that I don’t enjoy. I’ve always been like this and I embrace it as part of my personality. So rather than trying to force myself to do something through sheer willpower, I try to find ways around it.

For example:

Take reading a book. I can’t just read one book from start to finish. My mind wanders and I’ll find myself wanting to read about another subject on any other given day. So rather than going against my natural instincts and forcing myself to read and finish one book at a time, I’ll have about 5 or 6 books on the go at the same time. This works really well for me because it keeps me interested and reading and learning new things every day. If I were to force myself to only read one book, I’d get bored and stop reading. 

It’s the same here with the guitar. I’m almost 12 weeks into this experience now, and I’ve only been practicing the following 9 chords:

A, C, Cadd 9, D, E, F, G, Am, Em

That’s only 9 chords. 

If I were to set myself a regimented routine of practicing one chord to the next over and over until my fingers learned the correct movements, I’d end up quitting because I’d find it boring. Some people have the discipline and willpower to plow through the boredom until their fingers get it, but I don’t.

So how to get around it?

Variety of Songs!

I use a variety of different songs to keep things interesting and fun for me. Each song brings a new lease of life to the same old chords. It’s the perfect approach for my personality.

I get to practice the same chords, just in a variety of different settings. 

Update Video

There’s no video this week – it just got by me. But there is one in three days’ time, so keep a little lookout for that in next week’s entry.